Behrouz Boochani: No Friend But the Mountains
Ever wondered what it is like to be a refugee held in offshore immigration detention? In No Friend But The Mountains Behrouz Boochani masterfully takes us into the core of the ghastly system.
After reading his poetic descriptions of locations within the Manus Regional Processing Centre I can almost feel the atmosphere there through my skin.
Radio producer Ros Elliot embarked on a project to record some excerpts from the book to play on her radio program The Bubble broadcast from Tribefm 91.1 in South Australia and has kindly allowed my to use those in this podcast. The excerpts are read by Leo Gortz.
Between the segments from the book I’ve added some of my collection of songs about refugees. All of these are Australian.
Behrouz and hundreds of other men are still on Manus after 5 years. There’s also hundreds of families and single refugees on Nauru living in similar conditions. 12 refugees have died in offshore detention during these five years.
Australia made a deal with America in which the country would take 1250 refugees from offshore detention however so far only 361 have been resettled.
No Friend But the Mountains was translated by Omid Tofighian is published by PanMcMillion.
Behrouz Boochani graduated from Tarbiat Moallem University and Tarbiat Modares University, both in Tehran; he holds a Masters degree in political science, political geography and geopolitics. He is a Kurdish-Iranian writer, journalist, scholar, cultural advocate and filmmaker. Boochani was writer for the Kurdish language magazine Werya; is Honorary Member of PEN International; winner of an Amnesty International Australia 2017 Media Award, the Diaspora Symposium Social Justice Award, the Liberty Victoria 2018 Empty Chair Award, and the Anna Politkovskaya Award for journalism; and he is non-resident Visiting Scholar at the Sydney Asia Pacific Migration Centre (SAPMiC), University of Sydney. He publishes regularly with The Guardian, and his writing also features in The Saturday Paper, Huffington Post, New Matilda, The Financial Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. Boochani is also co-director (with Arash Kamali Sarvestani) of the 2017 feature-length film Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time; collaborator on Nazanin Sahamizadeh’s play Manus; and author of No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (Picador 2018).
Translator Omid Tofighian is a lecturer, researcher and community advocate, combining philosophy with interests in citizen media, rhetoric, religion, popular culture, transnationalism, displacement and discrimination. He completed his PhD in philosophy at Leiden University and graduated with a combined Honours degree in philosophy and studies in religion at the University of Sydney. His current roles include Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo; Honorary Research Associate for the Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney; faculty at Iran Academia; and campaign manager for Why Is My Curriculum White? – Australasia. He has published numerous book chapters and journal articles, is author of Myth and Philosophy in Platonic Dialogues(Palgrave Macmillan 2016) and translator of Behrouz Boochani’s book No Friend but the Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison (Picador 2018).
MOZ …………………………………………… All the Same
COMBAT WOMBAT ………………………… Asylum
UNITED STRUGGLE PROJECT …… Life is A War
EYE …………………………………………………… Refugees